Roller Coaster

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DISCUSSION
Approximately four deaths annually in the United States are
associated with roller coasters. Although traumatic injuries resulting in the deaths of roller coaster patrons tend to
receive the most media attention, they only represent one
quarter of all fatalities. Approximately half of deaths
associated with roller coasters occur from medical conditions in people without external signs of injury. The underlying
cause of these deaths can be difficult to determine; however, a number of reports have documented similar, but non-fatal,
neurological, vascular, and connective tissue problems
related to riding roller coasters.8–15 The remaining quarter of deaths associated with roller coasters are occupational
fatalities, which often receive limited attention.
The overall number of roller coaster related fatalities from this case series is larger than what has been previously
reported by other groups.3 5 This is due to the use of multiple data sources for reporting and the inclusion of both deaths
from medical causes without external signs of trauma and
occupational fatalities.
The lack of an effective system to monitor injuries and
deaths involving roller coasters is part of a larger problem. No single agency has responsibility for tracking incidents
involving amusement rides. The CPSC has authority for
tracking injuries to patrons of amusement rides that are
mobile3 but does not have legislative authority to track
incidents on rides at fixed sites. This is often the responsibility of state or local agencies; however, a number of states
have no regulations or specifically exempt large facilities
from review.8 Occupational safety and health agencies, either at the state or federal level, monitor work related injuries. This approach to monitoring injuries results in a fragmented system that produces data of limited value from a public

health perspective.
Quantifying the risk of death associated with roller
coasters was not possible as...
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